Event Alert auto news

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Autoblog Podcast #295 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern

08/14/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Event Alert

Autoblog Podcast Live

We're almost ready to record Episode #295 of the Autoblog Podcast, and we're joined this week by Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood and Adam Ferrara of Top Gear USA on the History Channel. You can check out the topics below, add your own to the Q&A and join us live via UStream, as well. Keep reading for our embedded UStream player, and thanks for listening!

Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #295

  • Jeep Liberty dies so that Wrangler Pickup truck may (maybe) become reality.
  • Five popular cars to avoid according to Consumer Reports
  • Dodge out of NASCAR

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Official: Lexus launches "Unleash The LFA" contest [w/video]

08/06/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Lexus, Event Alert, Luxury

Lexus' annual Golden Opportunity Sales Event is in effect, and an additional bit of golden yellow to go along with it this year is the Unleash the LFA sweepstakes. The deal is simple: you log onto your Facebook page, check out the Lexus Facebook page, submit your personal details to enter the contest and then spread the link to your Facebook friends.

Having done that, you'll be entered for the chance to unleash the LFA yourself. If you win, you'll be flown to the Skip Barber Racing School in Salinas, California for some personal training from ex IndyCar and NASCAR driver and reigning Grand-Am champion Scott Pruett, behind the wheel of an LFA. The contest ends August 21, and of course the odds are long, but since you'll be on Facebook anyway... and, come on, have you heard the LFA? If you need a reminder, you'll find one in the video below.

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Video: Buick Regal Grand National documentary Black Air coming in August

07/20/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Videos, Buick, Event Alert

Black Air, the documentary on the Buick Grand National, is set for release on December 11 of this year. On August 4, however, the first 20 minutes of the film will be screened at the at the national meet of the Buick Performance Group in Hebron, Ohio.

The film, by Andrew Fillipone, Jr., looks at a car that is as much of an anomaly now as it was during the years it was built, from 1984 to 1987. The Regal Grand National, a boxy black coupe that still sported Buick portholes emitting the superheated air from a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6, had little to say to its brethren like the Buick Century, Skylark and Park Avenue. And any speaking it did do was usually centered around tire smoke and bystanders gasping, "Golly..."

You can watch the trailer below. And if you're near the National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio on August 4, you know whose party to crash.

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Official: 2013 Ford Fusion campaign will feature 'Idol's' Ryan Seacrest

06/28/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Marketing/Advertising, Ford, Event Alert

Ryan Seacrest and Ford Fusion

Just when you thought you could get away from Ryan Seacrest...

The host of Fox's "American Idol" will be featured in an upcoming advertising campaign that will pitch the 2013 Ford Fusion.

Seacrest will help spearhead Ford's "Random Acts of Fusion," which will introduce the model to potential consumers across the country prior to its official debut. Ford will run the campaign through radio, broadcast, social media and Internet channels.

"Through this innovative approach, countless people will have an opportunity to take part in once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the Fusion before it even arrives in dealer showrooms," Ford said, and we're still trying to figure out exactly what that means, but that's the power of suggestion.

Ford has been an 'Idol' sponsor since Season 1 a decade ago, and its promos ever since have included providing the two 2008 finalists with new Ford Escape Hybrids, giving away an American Idol Edition Fusion Hybrid (complete with an in-car karaoke set-up) to a contest winner in 2009 and a 2010 promo that let Idol finalists design their own Ford Fiestas.

Last month marked the best May ever for the Fusion, which moved 26,857 units, up 8.9 percent from a year earlier. Through the first five months of the year, Ford sold more than 112,000 Fusions, making it Ford's second-most popular to its F-Series trucks.

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Auctions: Old timey Toyota Tundra being auctioned for charity in Orange County

06/22/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Auctions, Etc., Event Alert

Clint Boyer 2011 Toyota Tundra

No, your eyes do not deceive you, that's a 2011 Toyota Tundra masquerading as a vintage pickup. Not an awesome old Toyota Hilux pickup, but something decidedly more domestic. Of course, a new Toyota doesn't look anything like a 1950's truck. Neither does a modern Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado or Ram, for that matter, which is why this whole enterprise is so bizarre.

If you're wondering where to place the blame, the truck is the product of the apparently fertile imagination of one Clint Bowyer, Toyota-sponsored NASCAR driver and seemingly all-around good guy. Bowyer will be auctioning off the custom truck at the Barrett-Jackson Orange County auction, to be held June 22-24 in Costa Mesa, CA, with the proceeds going to charity. That lucky organization is the Emporia Community Foundation, based in Emporia, KS, Bowyer's hometown.

While Bowyer said in a statement that he, "wanted to take a brand new Toyota Tundra and make it look like it had been sitting, working on a farm for 50 or 60 years," in reality the pseudo-patina is the creation of custom painter Jason Jewett.

Scroll down to read the full press release.

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Official: Ferrari aims to set record at Silverstone with thousand-car parade

06/20/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Ferrari, UK, Event Alert

Ferrari parade at Silverstone

The record for the longest parade of Ferrari models was set back in 2007 when 385 examples lapped Silverstone at the same time. That record was broken with 490 cars sometime thereafter, but the Maranello automaker's London-based unit is gearing up to shatter the record once again.

So far, Ferrrari North Europe has registered a whopping 600 cars to participate in the event during the Ferrari Racing Days event at Silverstone. That would be enough to take back the record on its own, but the organizers are hopping to attract another 400 participants over the next few months to make it a nice, round 1000 vehicles.

That'll set the bar high enough when the event takes place on September 15, but to see what the previous run of 385 cars looks like, take a stroll through the high-resolution image gallery above.

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Official: GM Design turns 85, help 'em celebrate by viewing this awesome gallery

06/14/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: GM, Event Alert, Design/Style

General Motors Design is 85 years old this month, and it has put together a photographic sampling of its history that would be understatement to label merely "rich." The division has been the home of Harley Earl, Charles Jordan, the Cadillac Madame X and its V16, the Turret Tops, the first concept car, an industrial design division working on projects like the Kitchen of Tomorrow, the 1951 Buick LeSabre, the Stingray, Mako Shark and Manta Ray Corvettes, and so much more.

Just 25 years ago, in fact, the same year that Stefan Roser was flogging the Ruf Yellowbird around the 'Ring, IndyCar legend A. J. Foyt was flogging the Oldsmobile - that's right, Oldsmobile - Aerotech concept car beyond 260 miles an hour and setting land speed records. One of the Aerotech's designers was Ed Welburn, who now leads GM's global design.

Scroll down for more on GM Design and a lengthy timeline detailing its major achievements. There's also information on GM's Eyes on Design event happening this weekend in Grosse Point Michigan, and of course, a large gallery of photos above.

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Official: Ferrari corrals the Prancing Horses for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee [w/video]

05/11/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Euro, Government/Legal, Ferrari, UK, Event Alert

Ferrari FF with the 4th Mounted Carabinieri

When Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, it will be a cause for celebration for her entire United Kingdom. But the Brits aren't the only ones marking Her Majesty's 60 years on the throne.

The celebrations will apparently include delegations from around the world, including one mixed party of prancing horses old and new to represent Italy. Not only will several Ferraris be represented at the first Concours d'Elegance to be held at Windsor Castle, but Ferrari is bringing the 4th Mounted Carabinieri to strut their stuff on the grounds of the palatial estate for Her Majesty's enjoyment.

The event will form part of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant from May 10 to 13, but you can see a preview of what Ferrari and the Mounted Carabineri it supports have in store after the jump. The fancy dress makes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (which you'd otherwise be more likely to see in the other Windsor, where Sergio Marchionne - chief executive of Ferrari's parent company - went to college) look sober by comparison, but it's worth watching for the overly dramatic music alone.

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Official: BMW M5 called in to service as new Ring Taxi

04/18/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Euro, BMW, Event Alert, Racing

2012 BMW M5 Ring Taxi

There's any number of cars that can be used for taxis. The Ford Crown Vic, Nissan NV, Toyota Sienna... pretty much anything with a useable back seat, a cargo area and a roof on which to put a dome light. But a BMW M5? Surely that has to be overkill, right?

Maybe for most taxis, but this is no ordinary cab. This is the Ring Taxi. Operated by BMW and OK-Speed-Marketing at the Nürburgring, the Ring Taxi allows passengers to book a high-speed ride around the harrowing Nordschleife, chauffeured by a professional driver who knows the track's every twist and bump like the back of his (or in the case of Sabine Schmitz, her) capable hands.

For a few years the service was run in the previous-generation M5, with its high-revving V10 engine, but when that model was phased out of production, so was it retired from Ring Taxi duty. The M3 was said to have taken its place for a while, but now the M5 is back at it in its new iteration: all 560 twin-turbocharged horsepower of it.

Tickets for what will undoubtedly prove the ride of any enthusiast's life go for 216 euros ($282 by today's rates), with rides taking place once a week: on Mondays at 10 am. But BMW warns that if past experience (of which it has plenty) is any indication, hopefuls had better reserve well in advance as they tend to book up as fast as the new M5 will sling you around the Karousel.

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Official: Jaguar Heritage hosting Swallow-to-Jaguar 90th Anniversary Tour

02/26/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Jaguar, UK, Event Alert, Luxury

Swallow sidecar

Long before Jaguar was a five-time Le Mans victor instantly associated with the Leaper icon and cars like the the E-Type, it was Swallow Sidecar, making hexagonal outriders like the one pictured above. When the company got into automobile production it maintained the name Swallow and produced ornately turned-out coupes like the Austin-Swallow, Wolseley-Swallow and the prewar speedster known as the SS-100, the SS standing for Standard-Swallow. It wasn't until after the war that company head William Lyons would, for obvious reasons, swap the SS tag for Jaguar.

This year is the 90th anniversary of the Swallow Sidecar company, so the Jaguar Heritage Trust is hosting a circuitous Swallow to Jaguar 90th Anniversary driving tour from Coventry to Blackpool. The eight-day jaunt begins September 2, 2012 and is open to any of the marques under the historic Jaguar umbrella, including Swallow, SS, Lanchester, Daimler and Jaguar.

There's a press release after the jump with all the details. And for those who have wondered about the closure of the Jaguar Heritage center this September, we just spent two days in Coventry walking through the whole collection and we'll have a report with good news shortly.

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